Instead of hosting a full meal, consider hosting your guests to an afternoon tea between 2 pm and 4 pm. Tea parties can be simple, elegant, and satisfying to the hungriest of guests. Plus, because most of the food is served in small, prepared portions, the cost of hosting a tea is generally less expensive than a full meal.
Afternoon tea parties are a great way to celebrate a young birthday, a wedding announcement, or a baby on the way. If you add a small string quartet or jazz ensemble, an afternoon tea can also be a great alternative to a wedding reception. The mood will likely feel low-key and sophisticated, allowing guests to enjoy each other’s company.
Food for an afternoon tea includes finger sandwiches, soups, and quiche. Of course every afternoon tea comes with tea in several forms — herbal, green, black, and spiced. The tea and the food come out in several servings, making for a longer dining time. Of course, no afternoon tea is complete without a selection of cakes, fruits, and tarts to end the meal.
With the temperate climate in the Bay Area, you can host your afternoon teas outside; but be prepared to with a shade tent for anyone averse to bright sun. Children adapt well to afternoon teas given the variety of food served. Combined with the outdoor setting, children can enjoy the sun while parents keep busy with conversation and small bites.